Aids in Africa: an economic perspective

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Marron, JoAnn

Marron, JoAnn. (1991). Aids in Africa: an economic perspective. -- In Lambda Alpha Journal, v.22, p.4-22.


The global Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pandemic has had severe economic ramifications for some countries in Africa. Third World countries have scarce resources to devote to AIDS education or treatment, and they have other health and development concerns which need funding. A large proportion of the labor force is infected with the HIV virus, which will have negative consequences for the economy when these people become ill and are no longer a part of the work force (Sebatier 1987). Many of the urban elite are infected with HIV; these are the people who are considered to be the leaders of the next generation. The stigma and fear attached to AIDS may prevent foreign corporations from investing in Africa and could cause a decline in tourism, which is a major factor in economies of some countries. According to a report by the Panos Institute, an international research and information organization based in London, "The survival of whole industries and national economies may be at stake" (Mallet 1987:53). The countries most seriously affected are those of Central and Eastern Africa, so this paper will mainly address them; however, special concerns of South Africa and parts of West Africa will be mentioned as well.

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